It has been awhile since we have been in touch, so the executive wanted to provide our
members with an update regarding our quest for bargaining status.
As you know, we have been suing the government seeking recognition of our bargaining rights.
Most civil government lawyers across the country are either represented by their own
association or have a common bargaining structure with Crown Counsel. As many of you know,
our Crown colleagues have bargaining status and a collective agreement. We asked for the
same here in 2016 and were denied. We think this was for tactical reasons of government
acting as employer.
After the last provincial election, we tried to see if we could get a reset with the government.
On behalf of the BCGLA, I wrote to the Attorney General, Minister of Labour and Minister of
Finance asking for talks. They said they were not interested. They prefer to stick with their
predecessors’ failed approach of ignoring us. When it comes to refusing public sector lawyers’
freedom of association rights, we face a wall of bipartisanship.
As a result, the Board has instructed our lawyers to press on and seek discovery and trial dates
from the government. We have now provided our list of documents. We intend to press on
legally. As you are all lawyers, I am sure you will be interested in the correspondence on our
behalf, which I am enclosing.
Of course, as lawyers, we also know that court cases are uncertain things. But government
cannot operate without us – a power that if we use it together can require them to at least talk
to us respectfully. As the pandemic finally ends, and as we come together in person, your
BCGLA executive will be talking to you about the kind of actions we can take to make sure that
no government of any political stripe can ignore us.
At a national meeting by zoom on Friday, June 11, the Canadian Association of Crown Counsel
(CACC) discussed our case. There was strong support and some talk of CACC retaining counsel
to intervene on our behalf.
Thanks to all of you for your support.
For the BCGLA Executive